"Frigates Description Text" + Engineers and Guards have four gun turrets each, while Long Ranges are the only ships armed with six turrets.
Engineering ships are designed for construction of auxiliary facilities on the battlefield, as well as for repair of allied ships. Engineers can build barriers, where allies can hide from enemy fire. In addition, they can use warp gates to transfer the allied ships across long distances. Together with their buildings, Engineering ships serve as a reliable rear guard for their team. They can repair allied ships, restore their shields, while their combat drones can help them cope with enemy attacks from the rear.
Guards are designed to protect their team from enemy missiles, as well as enhance the defences of allied ships. In addition, their active modules can stop the enemy from using afterburner engines, and thus make them easier targets. Guard ships feature strong defences and an enhanced Phase Shield. However, these advantages are offset by the relatively small damage dealt by their main weapons.
Long Range The name of this role speaks for itself. They are designed for long-range firing. Long Range Gunships can use their disintegrators or guided torpedoes (depending on the model of the ship) to fulfill this task. Their active modules provide them with extremely powerful special weapons and camouflage (when immobile). However, the application of high-power and long-range weapons comes at the cost of armour and shields.
Frigates may have more health than fighters and frigates, but they must stick with their team! A single frigate is an easy target for an interceptor or fighter to engage at close range -- once a faster ship starts orbiting around it, it is almost certainly dead.
Engineering frigates are the most important support role in the game. Engineers are the only ships capable of healing allies, with several modules and weapons capable of doing so. Simply taking one of the aura repair modules can make the difference between victory and defeat! Stay near your team to provide them with healing, and let them provide you with covering fire. Don't forget to activate modules to get an extra burst in healing -- or to shoot at damaged allies with Eclipse launcher to repair their hull!
Engineers can excel in low level open space! With combat drones from their special module, and attack drones from their missile slot, engineers can easily dispatch some targets without so much as firing a single shot. However, with low speed, maneuverability, and active modules not meant for direct combat, they are not always the best choice. When pirating, engineers are typically only taken when already with a group, so as to help partners in crime stay alive for longer.
Guard frigates, as their name suggests, excel at area denial and tanking. Guards can help sustain a push by absorbing enemy fire into shields with their special module, and laying down area denial with their active modules to prevent enemies pushing back. Hold beacons and important cover through similar means. Just remember not to stray too far from the team -- while guards can sustain themselves alone for a time, a guard too far from its team can be a very easy target for any damage dealers!
Guards can thrive in open space with their higher staying power -- especially when smart about their special module! A properly fitted guard can take out even the fiercest of aliens. Beware of pirates, though -- players flying faster ships can make easy work out of even a well flown guard. Pirating in a guard may be possible, due to having a large amount of tank, but low maneuverability means that the tables can be flipped quite easily.
Long range frigates are heavy damage dealers. With active modules that help avoiding detection, quick repositioning, and enhancing their special module's performance, LRFs are the frigates with the most freedom of positioning. However, if an enemy notices an LRF far from its team, it can easily become nothing more than a juicy target.
As the only ship class with 6 turrets (only outclassed by destroyers with at most 8 at once), LRFs have 50% more main weapon damage than any other frigate, straight out of the box. Use these main weapons to deal heavy damage to the enemy team! Or, use the special module to lay down supporting fire from places you wouldn't normally be able to hit from. Just pay attention to how you're doing: if you aren't hitting with a sniper, or your guided missile is your only source of DPS, consider moving closer to the fight for lower projectile travel time -- and more chances to show off those main weapons.
In open space, LRFs are capable of incredible feats. Their main weapons are able to dispatch many enemies before taking damage, while their modules can manage enemy aggression and keep them at range very easily. When pirating, LRFs can hide in plain sight, then take down a sizeable chunk of health when surprising a victim. However, it can be just as easily surprised by other pirates -- be careful!